Original NFL Survivor Pools that started in Week 1 with the standard single-elimination format are probably getting pretty thin about now. There were a couple of significant upsets in Week 6 involving two of the most popular picks for the week. Among the early games the Falcons were upset at home by the Dolphins and then on Sunday Night Football the 13.5-point favorite Denver Broncos were upset at home by the New York Giants. I expected the Falcons to have a big game off their bye against a Dolphins team that was in the news recently for the wrong reasons. But I did warn in this space last week that the Giants were not a typical 0-5 team and that I expected them to be competitive for the rest of the season.
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Each week in my Opening Line Report I will go over the big favorites on the opening NFL odds. I do this every week in order to formulate my picks. Out of the pool of about three or four teams I like after compiling this report, I then conduct further research on those matchups in order to come up with my final pick.
On paper, this looks like the toughest week of the season to make a winning Survivor Pool pick. Looking at the opening lines, there isn’t even a favorite of seven or more points this week. There are plenty of road favorites this week and not too many games that the oddsmakers expect to be lopsided.
Week 7 NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Opening Lines
Kansas City -3 at Oakland (Thursday): This is such a tough week that this matchup might actually be a consideration for some Survivor Pool players. This one scares me big time, and that is coming from a lifelong Chiefs fan. With their loss Sunday at home vs. Pittsburgh, the Chiefs can totally squander that 5-0 start if they lose here. They are banged up and have to travel on a short week for a tough road game against their biggest rival. This is pretty much a must-win for Oakland, and despite a 0-4 slide they can be right back in the division race with a win here, especially since the Broncos lost Sunday as well. The Chiefs have owned this series (and divisional games in general) lately, however. But you can probably consider this the most important game of the season for Oakland.
Tennessee -6.5 vs. Cleveland: This game is off the board at most sportsbooks because the Titans are about to play their Monday Night Football matchup vs. Indy and QB Marcus Mariota is coming off an injury. If the Titans, and Mariota specifically, look good tonight then there is a good chance that Tennessee could be more than a touchdown favorite here and they would probably be my favorite pick for Week 7. Cleveland is a team that has baffled me this season. I thought they came into the season well coached and expected them to play hard every week and be a good underdog bet. But this team looks even worse than last year’s version and this is clearly once again the top fade team in the NFL.
Pittsburgh -5 vs. Cincinnati: With the lack of options for Week 7, this might be a viable pick. But the Steelers have been wildly inconsistent. They beat the formerly 5-0 Chiefs in Arrowhead on Sunday, but the week before they got blown out at home by Jacksonville and QB Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions. Thankfully most competitors have probably used the Steelers already. So they won’t have to worry about wrestling with this decision for Week 7. I do think the Steelers captured some momentum on Sunday in Kansas City and think they will win this game as well.
Minnesota -5.5 vs. Baltimore: Even though there aren’t many big favorites this week, the more I look at the matchups I am confident that those that still have pool life left will be able to find a good pick this week. This one looks more than decent. It seems like the Vikings have momentum and they looked great in their home with over the Packers on Sunday. With Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers now out for the season, this division is theirs for the taking. The Ravens are pretty much trash, in my opinion, and if both teams are at their best then Minnesota should win this one by 7+.
Buffalo -3 vs. Tampa Bay: The line here is off the board at most books and will probably be until we know more about the status of Buccaneers injured QB Jameis Winston. If he is a no-go then that certainly makes the Bills a possible Week 7 Survivor Pool option as this the Bucs just hasn’t even looked good with their QB healthy.
New Orleans -6 at Green Bay: Even with Rodgers down, this seems like a fishy line. Yes, the Saints looked amazing in Week 6 by dropping 50+ on the Lions. But that was at home, where they have traditionally played much better than on the road. Backup QB Brett Hundley has been with the team for awhile, and it seems the Packers are comfortable with the guy. He didn’t look great against Minnesota, but he was thrown into the fire and now will have a week of preparation to fall back on. Not a big fan of the Saints here for Week 7 NFL Survivor Pools.
LA Rams -3.5 vs. Arizona (London): Even if this game was in Los Angeles I would not be that interested in taking the Rams here. They are too inconsistent. But the fact that this one is in London makes me want to have nothing to do with this matchup. Stay away from international games for Survivor Pools as the disruption of these players’ normal routine can have some crazy consequences on the game.
Dallas -5 at San Francisco: I never like the Cowboys as a road favorite and like them even less this week as unlike a winless team like the Browns, the Niners have been very competitive and they have a lot of upside. I think this San Francisco team will win 3-4 games this season and this is a team I could see getting hot down the stretch and maybe winning more than that. They have been very close to a win lately, and it would not surprise me to see them get one at home here vs. the overrated Cowboys.
Seattle -5.5 at NY Giants: I don’t trust Seattle on the road at all right now. The Giants showed they are not going to roll over and play dead after heading into Denver and completely dominating the Broncos in a blowout. Despite the injuries, there’s still a lot of talent on this team. I think there are better options on the board this week than the Seahawks.
Philadelphia -4.5 vs. Washington (Monday): Even though this is a divisional game, I do think the Eagles take care of business here. They already won, convincingly, in Washington Week 1. They are the better team here in this matchup. It’s always tough to pick a divisional game, but with a real lack of options for Week 7 this is as good as any potential pick on the board.